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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Early Review: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

image Description:
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire . . . fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil . . . until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.
 
Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast—as the entrées.
 
The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?
 
Details:
ebook, 398 pages
Expected publication: September 13th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
ISBN: 1442423757 (ISBN13: 9781442423756)

Review:
**THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.  PROCEED WITH CAUTION**

Wow.  Sarah Beth Durst, you are amazing!  Drink, Slay, Love is amazing!

I was delighted that Durst created a world where vampires are hunters and humans are prey.  She embraced all the traditional lore of vampires and wrapped it into a story where it doesn’t feel fantastic, but real and honest.  Genuine.  She didn’t make vampires nice or shiny, she poked fun at the Twilight Saga numerous times (love it!), but left them in all their gory, predator greatness. 

And then we meet “Mr. Sparkly-and-Pointy.”  The unicorn added the element of fantasy that Drink, Slay, Love required.  Not to say that this book isn’t fantasy, because it is, but vampires in literature are “it” right now, so, using the unicorn makes this unique in a rainbows and sunshiny kind of way.  And I love it.

I like that Durst used the juxtaposition of the vampire’s hierarchical society and the human’s anything-goes approach to life to add an element of naiveté to Pearl.  There was something honest and refreshing about the way Pearl viewed and understood high school through the tinted lenses of her life.  I was lead down a path with Pearl as she grew and adapted to the intricacies of a human’s angst-filled teenage life, very authentic and never forced.  And her fellow students are so much fun!  Matt and Zeke are hilarious—I love their enthusiasm and idiocy.  Bethany’s idealistic change-the-world outlook was somewhat refreshing.  The only thing that did kind of bother me, is that the Evil Snow Princess of Greenbridge High (Ashlyn) was the one who “got what was coming to her.”  That one thing was very cliché.

The subtly of Pearl’s change in conscience was astounding.  The author did a fantastic job.  It was not contrived or sudden, but wonderfully gradual and unmistakable.  Durst was clever, cunning, and I honestly never figured out Pearl’s next move.  Maybe because i had a cold while reading, but i think it’s just her genius.

I had several laugh-out-loud moments and some that even made me clap with delight.  Drink, Slay, Love is a fantastic read.  I enjoy Durst’s writing and tone, and love that this book is very tongue-in-cheek at times.  All the references to Molly RIngwald and The Breakfast Club were so funny!  I liked the time-warp of Antoinette.  I was entertained, and look forward to reading more by Sarah Beth Durst.

5 Stars: Vampires, unicorns, and some kick-tail action sequences…heck yeah!

Many Adventures,
Richard

*This pre-release was provided by to me the publishers through Galley Grab*

3 comments:

  1. Great review! You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give to fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with the Best Books Blog Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review all these books for us authors and readers.

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  2. Nice review! I was super interested in this book because of the cover at first (hehehe) but now I know the story is awesome as well! Poking fun at Twilight? I'll be there!

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  3. @Deirdra: THANKS!

    @Jinny: this is epically awesome! It's on my "Best of 2011" list!

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